Small bike tips – how can I fit a Tailfin Rack or AeroPack?

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Shorter riders can struggle to carry everything they want for bikepacking and commuting. A smaller frame reduces the space available for extra luggage and can lead to traditional seat packs rubbing on rear wheels. Often riders have to compromise on bag size in order not to ‘buzz’ their rear tyre.

Tailfin Racks and AeroPacks overcome many of the shortfalls of traditional seat packs and, set up correctly, they’re a great option for smaller riders. Detailed below are some tips we have for setting up a small bike with Tailfin products.


If your frame is 54cm and smaller and/or you have less than 10cm of seatpost showing, we strongly recommend selecting the ‘Long’ Top Stay for Tailfin Racks or the ‘Extender’ for AeroPacks. Both products can be selected when configuring the Rack/AeroPack respectively. These products were designed explicitly with shorter riders in mind. They’ll push the top bag back a further 50mm and help maximise the space available.

You may wonder why an even longer extension is not available. The quick answer is durability. We have found that extensions that are any longer increase the risk of the part failing (the longer the extension the more it begins to act as a lever and could snap). The products available have been tested to carry the same weight as the standard fitting – for further information see our blog here.


The next piece of advice regards packing the top bag. The AP20 bag used on Racks and AeroPacks is subtly wedge-shaped – smaller at the front and larger at the back. As such, we recommend packing smaller/softer items at the front of the bag (beneath your saddle) and bulkier/heavier items towards the back. Don’t worry though, as the bag is top opening it’s still incredibly easy to view and access the contents (unlike seat packs which often require unpacking everything to grab something at the bottom).

A final packing tip is to open the side pocket before rolling the bag shut. This will help expel any air and allow you to compress the bag to a smaller size too, e.g;

bicycle bag being rolled shut


Where you attach the Rack/AeroPack on your seatpost can affect the total capacity. We’ve found that positioning the seat post connector higher up helps on small frames. The image below shows the difference in position (shown on a Cannondale Topstone in size XS; their smallest frame size)

side-on photo of bicycle and rack

Spread the load

Lastly, if you’re heading away on a longer trip consider additional bags for the extra items you’ll likely need. We have a range of side panniers, Fork Packs, Top Tube Packs, and Downtube Packs suitable for small frames – enough extra capacity for any adventure.